College tuition and fees are on the rise. Shockingly, the cost for 4-year private schools now tops $36,000 per year on average.
But the investment is well worth it. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, individuals with a bachelor's degree earn more than double those with just a high school diploma.
The two most popular college savings programs are 529 plans and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. Whichever you choose, be sure to start when your child is young. The sooner you begin, the less money you will have to put away each year.
Example: Suppose you have one child, age six months, and you estimate that you'll need $120,000 to finance his college education 18 years from now. If you start putting away money immediately, you'll need to save $3,500 per year for 18 years (assuming an after-tax return of 7%). On the other hand, if you put off saving until your son is six years old, you'll have to save almost double that amount every year for twelve years.
Financial Calculator: College Savings Planner
Use this calculator to help develop and fine-tune your child's college education savings plan.
How Much Will College Cost? Based on the survey completed for the 2010 Trends in College Pricing, the average cost for tuition, fees, and room and board for 2010-11 was:
$16,140 per year for 4-year public (in state) colleges and universities.
This is an increase of 6.1% from 2009-10 findings.
$36,993 per year for 4-year private colleges and universities.
This is an increase of 4.3% from 2009-10 findings.
It should be noted that, on average, full-time students receive $16,000 of financial aid per year in the form of grants and tax benefits for private 4-year institutions, $6,100/yr for public 4-year institutions, and $3,400/yr for public 2-year institutions.
Gary M. DellaPosta is a CPA located in Falmouth. He has been in practice for over 30 years. Stay tuned next week to read about 529 Qualified Tuition Plans.
One lucky Cape Cod Mommies member will receive a $50 gift certificate to The Red Balloon Toy Shop in Mashpee Commons!
The Red Balloon Toy Shop is Cape Cod's premier specialty toy shop. Family owned and operated since 1970, The Red Balloon strives to offer the best when it comes to toys. They've been named Cape Cod's finest toy shop and mentioned in Yankee magazine.
They offer a HUGE selection of games, puzzles, dolls, LEGO, Playmobil, stuffed animals, Red Sox apparel, helium balloons and MUCH MUCH MORE!!
Check Out Our Contest Details To Enter Now!
This contest is all about fun and getting to know each other a little more!
To enter your chance to win the follow these simple steps (you can choose do as many or as few as you wish, but you will have a better chance if you do more! You can only do each thing once so at most you have 5 entries unless you refer multiple friends to our FB page):
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1. All participants must follow the guidelines from contest.
Please email email@example.com if you need help.
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Please note: Contest ends at 11:59 PM EST August 15, 2011. One winner will be randomly selected by random.org. The winner will be notified via our FB page, our website and via email. The contest winner will have 48 hours to respond, if no response is received, then another winner will be selected.
Contest Sponosred by: Cape Cod Mommies
I love to share resources with other parents that will assist them in supporting their child's growth and development. As parents we all want what is best for our children. We want them to feel loved, safe and secure and be successful individuals. School has really taken a step up and children have much higher expectations then they did in the past. Children are expected to come in with more knowledge not only academic knowledge but social knowledge. PBS offers a great informational site about developmental skills for children up to age 5. They have worked really hard with the Whole Child movement to provide a surplus of resources for families and teachers. They also have a great section for parents with suggested readings, and a forum for parents to connect with one another.
Check them out!
This was one of the things I was most confused about when I became a mom. On one hand, you want your child's toys to be clean and disinfected. On the other hand, you don't want to use harmful chemicals and cleaners on the toys that will be going right into your baby's mouth!
Did you know, according to some experts, that plain old white distilled vinegar is effective in killings bacteria and germs? Apparently white distilled vinegar has been a household cleaner for many generations.
Some of the other many uses of vinegar are toilet bowl cleaning, refridgerator cleaning, window cleaning, garbage disposal deodorizer and much more!
It looks like you can throw out all of your other cleaners and use vinegar for almost everything!
For baby toys, I usually mix one part vinegar and one part hot soapy water.
Check out the Heinz Vinegar website for cleaning ideas with vinegar.
Also, VinegarTips, 1001 ways to use vinegar
Toddlers and children of all ages benefit from this great activity and can spend hours at a time with it. Plus with this recipe, you don't have to worry about your toddler ingesting anything harmful.
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon food coloring (you can play around with natural colors to add as well)
2 cups water
Variation: for yummy-scented dough, add a bottle of vanilla or banana extract to the water.
Mix all the ingredients in the saucepan and make sure to stir constantly. Cook dough over on medium heat until the dough falls away from the sides of the pan. Remove the cooked dough and knead it for 3 to 5 minutes.
It’s Playdough time! This recipe makes very smooth and pliable dough that’s just right for little hands. Set Playdough out on a clean surface and enjoy the fun!
Make sure to store the dough in an air-tight container. There is no need to refrigerate it.
We are in the midst of summer fun and with that comes responsibility for making sure our precious little ones remain safe. It isn't a surprise that this season is also nick named "ER" season. More emergencies happen in these short 3 months then any other time of the year. Most of these emergencies are preventable with the proper precautions! As the saying goes, "Children drown without a sound" couldn't be more haunting and more true. It only takes a few inches of water and few seconds for a child to drown. We as parents can prevent this unfortunate event with a few short safety rules known as the "ABC'S of Pool Safety". This fabulous article is often provided in many First Aid classes, and so as it is the season for swimming... I would like to share them with you.
A- Adult Supervision
Taking the proper precautions to ensure your child's safety is one of the most important steps you can take this summer. If ever you can't find your child, first place you should look is the body of water. Hopefully no one you know will have to encounter such a tragedy as a drowning, but by following these easy steps you can be sure your child will be safe this summer.
Thought I would post the upcoming schedule via the American Red Cross in Hyannis of the CPR classes! Maybe some of us can take them together! These classes are for CPR/AED Adult plus Child and Infant. Please go to http://www.capecodandislandsredcross.org/ to register!
July 26 6-8:30pm $90
August 9 6-8:30pm $90
August 15 9:30-12pm $90
August 25 3:30-6pm $90
July 29 9-12pm $70
August 16 6-9pm $70
August 31 6-9pm $70
Sept 13 6-9pm $70
Sept 26 6-9pm $70
Within the past few weeks, facebook posts from all of my friends started popping up talking about Pinterest. It seemed that every day someone would report they they logged in to Pinterest were obsessed and never came out!! This freaked me out because, if my friends have been dropping like flies into the Pinterest Craze, surely it was only a matter of time until I got sucked in.. so I have been holding back at "going there"
Today I finally decided to take a peek and I'm happy I did. It's a really cool idea and I can totally see how users love this site! Searching for things online can be so hard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all of the great things you find online! They have sections for decorating homes, book ideas, entertaining ideas, birthday party ideas and so much more. Not only can you post your own great ideas and finds, but you can also browse through other peoples ideas! What a great idea! And if I were a creative person, I would be all over this site!
I thought I'd share with you an important article I found written by Dennis Thompson with Health Day regarding babyproofing medicine cabinets.
Here is an excerpt from the article-
"Medications tend to be more accessible to children than other toxic substances in the home, poison control experts said. And, parents tend to place too much faith in child-resistant caps and other safeguards.
"Normally what occurs when someone is taking medicine on a chronic basis, they'll leave it out," said Jay L. Schauben, a pharmacist and director of the Florida Poison Information Center in Jacksonville, Fla. "Any pills left out are within the grasp and reach of a child. Some of the medicine can look like candy. Some of the cough syrups are flavored and taste good. You can sort of see how that would be a disaster waiting to happen."
The medications children overdose on most often are the over-the-counter drugs ubiquitous to American households, said Edward Krenzelok, a pharmacist and director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Nearly 10 percent of all poisonings in children 5 years old or younger involve common analgesics, according to the annual data report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
"The most common medication anyone's going to have around the home is a non-prescription pain reliever," Krenzelok said.
Ointments and creams, cough and cold remedies, vitamins, antihistamines and products for gastrointestinal distress cause another 21.5 percent of pediatric poisonings.
Part of the problem, the experts agree, is that people tend to not treat over-the-counter medications as something that could cause harm in young children. "They figure if they didn't need a prescription or got it from a pharmacist, it must be safe," Schauben said. "They are more apt to leave it out or have a lot more leeway leaving it on the counter."
This can lead to a child overdosing because, for instance, the child comes across medication and figures it's a treat.
"A 3-year-old may see two really pretty tablets on a counter and think they are candy, like M&Ms or Skittles," Krenzelok said.
Younger children also can be inadvertently poisoned by medications within their reach simply because little kids tend to put things in their mouths.
"They're sampling their environment," Krenzelok said. "They have a lot of hand-to-mouth activity. They constantly put things in their mouths. If you put a pen down and a 16-month-old wanders over, what are they going to do? They're going to put the pen in their mouth."
To protect children, all medications -- prescription and over-the-counter -- should be kept in a locked cabinet, out of the reach of kids, Schauben said. Avoid keeping any medications on counters or nightstands, even if the drugs are in child-resistant containers."
Click the link below to see the full article.
There are so many resources out there for new families to explore, but sometimes it becomes overwhelming! As a new mom myself, and a teacher on the Cape, I often find I need to go out and search for ways to connect with my community and provide educational experiences for my child. There are so many things our community has to offer. The Coalition for Children, an Upper Cape grant funded education and support network, provides families with an abundance of resources available in the community. Their services are free and just a call away (508)548-0151 ext: 172 or 128. Their website provides an extensive list of play and learn groups active in the community, as well as workshops for parents to support their knowledge-base in the latest educational topics. I must say I have worked closely with many of the ladies that work in the organization, as well as presented at their big conference held annually. They are worth connecting with. Carolyn Minervino and Tina Toran are both co-coordinators and I cannot say enough good things about both of them. They are also a great resource for preschool-aged children and finding a perfect placement for them. Awesome Ladies!
Tina also creates these super awesome recyclable bags called WAVYO...check them out! I love women who multi-work :)
I don't know about you, but when I go out to public places, especially the grocery store with my son it seems as if people like to gravitate towards us. Lately, it seems as if it happens in slow motion like a scene out of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" or the Zombie Apocalypse. The only difference is that the zombies are not after me, no they are after MY baby! They want to touch him, pet him, stroke him, kiss him, play with him. It's as if they crave the innocent life force deep within my child's soul.
I have tried several tricks: wearing him in a carrier, keeping him in the carseat with a blanket over him, etc. Nothing works. I researched a few ways to discourage the touching though:
"She's irresistible, isn't she? I know it's hard to not touch, but I would rather you say 'Hi' without handling her."
"My baby's a little shy. Would you mind backing off a bit?"
"Feel free to look, but I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't touch."
"UH-OH! You should really go see a doctor, he's SUPER contagious right now. But only from direct contact. Since people aren't supposed to touch other people's babies, no one should be at risk."
Start "petting", stroking, or touching their socks, arms, mouth, head etc and then when they look shocked: "OH! Should I have asked first?" and use sanitizer on your hands.
I have heard stories from my friends of people reaching in thru a car window at the gas station to touch the baby, reaching thru a playpen gate to touch not only the baby but his toys and swing. Yes, we are very proud of our little ones and we appreciate the compliments that they are adorable, cute, beautiful, and handsome. We know! We made them and we did a darn good job! However, our babies are still new to this world and are not always ready for the bombardment of germs and other micro critters that live on people. Even if someone touches the baby's foot, that foot is later going to go right into their mouth, making the germs' job ten times easier at invading the new environment. Sometimes I can even hear the little germs yell with glee as they slide on inside to take up a new residence. Now for those of you who think well germs are no big deal, what about the fact that this is a random person walking up to your child and touching them? When was the last time you walked up to a random person and started stroking their head? I haven't done that ever and I would be probably screaming for help if someone did that to me in the grocery store.
The primary culprits tend to be the elder population. I understand it probably makes them feel younger and gives them hope. After all that is what babies symbolize to many: HOPE! Hope for the future, hope for the innocence to last, hope for dreams to come true, etc. I think as we get older we learn so much more about the world and how it works and we long for the days of our youth when we were innocent. Our biggest worry then was if we didn't get a popsicle after dinner or if we didn't get a story before bedtime. We didn't know of evil in the world, that didn't exist, except in stories where the good guy always won! I try to remind myself that these people are getting a little more joy in their day because they got to see my son's radiant smile, but please don't touch or at least ask so I can politely tell you that I appreciate your interest but no. Who knows maybe when I am older, I will see an infant in the store and want to touch him or her, but I won't because it is not polite, but I will make silly faces in the hopes of getting the baby to smile back at me so I can recapture a simpler time ;)
This activity is great for the toddler who loves to paint! Try Pudding Finger Paints!
It's easy... might be messy.... but its tasty!
Buy a vanilla or light colored pudding mix (this can also be substituted with yogurt). Follow directions for making the pudding. Divide up and add a few different colors of food coloring.
*** Note there are dairy products in both of these.
***Child safe cleaning supplies!!!!!***
From Money Talks News:
Ever wonder why there are so many dish soap commercials? Maybe the companies who make this stuff are trying to hide the fact it's really simple -- and cheap -- to make your own.
According to the latest government data, Americans spend an average of $659 a year on housekeeping supplies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which provides that figure, also says the average American earns about $787/week -- which means many people are spending most of (if not more than) a week's pay every year on dish soap, laundry detergent, and other cleaning products.
If that sounds crazy, here's a better idea: Make your own.
Recipes for cleaning products are as numerous as recipes for dinner. Here are just a few to help with dishes, clothes and more.
Here's a simple recipe for dishwasher soap:
• 1 cup of borax
• 1 cup of baking soda
• ¼ cup of table salt
• 2 packets (half an ounce) of unsweetened lemon Kool-Aid
You can try to save even more by buying ingredients in bulk, but another idea is to find smaller and much cheaper boxes at your local dollar store: a good idea to since you'll want to try a small amount at first to see if you like the results. The amounts listed above are good for 16 loads -- one tablespoon each -- so even small batches will last a while.
Other recipes online vary: For example, we found one that suggested combining only borax and baking soda, 1 tablespoon each per load. Another suggested adding a little citrus essential oil to make it smell nice: We didn't try that one, however, because we had difficulty finding inexpensive citrus oil online. Then there's this recipe, which goes in a different direction altogether:
• 2 bars of shredded Octagon soap
• 1 cup of baking soda
• ¼ cup of washing soda
• ¼ cup of lemon juice
This one calls for melting the shredded soap in five quarts of water and then mixing in the other ingredients. If that sounds a little like the recipe for laundry detergent we wrote about last year, that's because it is.
Speaking of laundry detergent, that's easy, too. You'll need:
• 4 cups of water
• ⅓ bar of cheap soap, grated
• ½ cup washing soda (not baking soda)
• ½ cup of Borax (20 Mule Team)
• 5-gallon bucket for mixing
• 3 gallons of water
First, mix the grated soap in a saucepan with 4 cups of water, and heat on low until the soap is completely dissolved. Add hot water/soap mixture to 3 gallons of water in the 5-gallon bucket, stir in the washing soda and Borax, and continue stirring until thickened. Let the mix sit for 24 hours, and voila! Homemade laundry detergent.
Other Cleaning Products
If you like the results of your homemade concoctions on clothes and dishes, why stop there? The next time you're at the store, instead of picking up a bottle of some expensive cleanser, grab these six items and make your own cleaning supplies:
• Vinegar. It may smell a little weird, but vinegar can handle everything from dishes to laundry and even weeds. We've written about the wonders of vinegar before.
• Baking soda. Eliminates odors and helps with stains, and also works as a natural method of pest control -- ants hate it.
• Borax. This mineral salt beats bleach as a toilet cleaner and is also useful for scrubbing walls. And as you see in the recipes above, works with laundry, too.
• Fels-Naptha soap. This one's actually made by one of those big cleaning companies: Dial. They recommend it for "pre-treating" stains. In other words, "use this in addition to a bunch of our other expensive products, like Purex!" But you can turn the tables by using it as part of a recipe for your own laundry detergent, and they can keep the Purex.
• Rubbing alcohol. Works as a disinfectant and is also a great glass cleaner. It also gets grime off plastic and metal surfaces like patio furniture or bathroom fixtures.
• Lemon juice. This cuts through dish grease and is an ingredient for homemade furniture polish -- but it's not the easiest thing to preserve long-term.
If making your own cleaning products sounds a little extreme, there are still simple ways to save. The best? Buying generics. And if you insist on using name brands, at least clip those coupons -- but only the ones worth your time.
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